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Van Dalsem, Bruce E.

Bruce E. Van Dalsem

Of Counsel
Direct Tel: +1 213-443-3218
Los Angeles
Tel: +1 213 443 3000 Fax: +1 213 443 3100

Bruce Van Dalsem is the Chair of the Plaintiff’s Litigation Practice and Co-Chair Domestic Arbitration Practice. Bruce has been a partner in the Los Angeles office of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP since 2005.  He has 35 years of experience litigating and trying a wide variety of cases, including obtaining a top-ten verdict in California, as well as other verdicts in which juries have returned multi-million dollar awards as well as defense verdicts.  Bruce regularly handles cases involving copyright and trademarks, corporate governance and partnership issues, professional responsibility, land development, building and vessel construction, asset-backed lending issues, trade secrets and real estate matters.  He was named Los Angeles’ “Copyright Lawyer of the Year”; consistently named one of the “Best Lawyers in California” by The Best Lawyers in America; named by The Daily Journal as one of Los Angeles’ attorneys “climbing the charts”; and named by Los Angeles Magazine as a “Super Lawyer” with a proven track record in litigating complex matters as lead trial counsel.  Bruce also Chairs the firm’s real estate practice and alternative fee committee.  

  • KB Home
  • BAE Systems
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Google, Inc.
  • Pfizer, Inc.
  • Colony Capital
  • Elliot Management
  • MGM Studios
  • Paramount Pictures
  • Charles Schwab & Co.
  • DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc.
  • Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin, Inc.
  • Lead trial counsel for B. Riley Financial in trial of claim to compel specific performance of Rent-A-Center’s sale obligation in $1.5 billion take-private sale to Vintage Capital, and to determine liability for $126.5 million reverse breakup fee. 
  • Won more than $93 million in damages in a landslide win as counsel for Olaplex, a California-based start-up, against L’Oreal, the largest beauty company in the world. Olaplex invented a patent-protected method for protecting and repairing hair during the bleaching process. The federal jury in Delaware returned a unanimous verdict, finding that L’Oreal had willfully stolen Olaplex’s trade secrets, willfully infringed upon two Olaplex patents, and breached the parties’ NDA. L’Oreal’s claims of patent invalidity were rejected in total, and the court doubled the non-overlapping portion of the jury’s damages award and granted attorneys’ fees and costs. The court also granted a permanent injunction barring L’Oreal from selling the infringing products and restored Olaplex to its position as the sole provider of the revolutionary hair care product it invented.
  • Obtained dismissal of plaintiff’s claim and won a clean sweep after trial of all counterclaims on behalf of a billionaire high technology client, which included a more than $14 million judgment and permanent injunction against plaintiff for extortion, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, invasion of privacy, and civil harassment.
  • Co-lead trial counsel for Pfizer in a retrial following entry of a $60 million judgment against Pfizer for trade secret misappropriation.  Obtained dismissal of all claims of direct trade secret misappropriation and a defense verdict on claims seeking to impose vicarious liability for misappropriation of 153 of 160 alleged trade secrets.  At the conclusion of the damages phase, the jury awarded $165,000 in damages, which is what the defense suggested to the jury.
  • Lead counsel for BAE Systems in the defense of fraud claims filed in San Francisco Superior Court and the Southern District of New York seeking to set aside a M&A transaction in which BAE sold its San Francisco ship repair facility.
  • Lead trial counsel for KB Home in connection with the financing and joint venture disputes arising from the Inspirada master plan community in Henderson, Nevada.  Engagement included defending claims by lender syndicate on defaulted $320 million credit facility, serving as lead counsel in an arbitration seeking to compel specific performance of $500 million of purchase obligations, special litigation counsel for equity stakeholders in connection with the consortium’s bankruptcy and lead counsel in arbitration between consortium members.
  • Lead counsel for BAE Systems Southeast Ship Repair in arbitrations concerning alleged delays and defects in several Jones Act ships constructed at BAE’s Mobile, Alabama shipyard, as well as defending claims of copyright infringement in the Southern District of New York based on ship design.
  • Lead trial counsel for DreamWorks Animation SKG in the E.D. Texas in defending claims of copyright infringement arising from the animated motion picture “Megamind.”
  • Defended Morgan Stanley in multiple lawsuits arising from its role as sell-side investment banker in connection with the $22 billion leverage buyout of Archstone-Smith, previously a public traded multi-family UPREIT.
  • Represented Charles Schwab & Co. in connection with claims arising from its YieldPlus bond fund.
  • Defended Snapchat, Inc. and its founders in an action brought claiming an alleged partner was excluded from the company.
  • Represented an Elliot Management fund in connection with execution proceedings under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act in an action seeking to levy on an Argentine satellite brought into California for launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
  • Represented Colony Capital in connection with litigation over the foreclosure on the Las Vegas Hilton.
  • Obtained a $46 million jury verdict on a counterclaim against PBS following a month-long trial in federal court on behalf of former Monkee Michael Nesmith based on interference with contract claims. Verdict included over $30 million in punitive damages.
  • Obtained a $10 million jury verdict, including $7 million in punitive damages, against
    Los Angeles radio personality Rick Dees and others based on claims of breach of fiduciary duties arising from a partnership dispute.
  • Obtained a $4.5 million unanimous jury verdict, including punitive damages, in a commercial real estate dispute.
  • Obtained a jury verdict for over $2 million with a 12/0 finding by the jury that Coopers & Lybrand had acted with malice, oppression or fraud.  Case settled confidentially on the morning of the punitive damage phase of trial.
  • Obtained a $1.2 million jury verdict against the City of Los Angeles in a design defect claim.
  • Obtained an $8 million settlement during the second week of a jury trial against the LAMTA.
  • Obtained a $3.4 million dollar settlement during the second week of a jury trial against Rosenfeld, Meyer & Susman for legal malpractice arising out of a motion picture financing transaction.
  • Obtained a preliminary injunction based on a claim of copyright infringement against America Online enjoining the manufacturing and distribution of AOL’s then-current version of the AOL client software for Windows.
  • Obtained a preliminary injunction based on claims of trademark and trade dress infringement for a major cosmetics distributor.
  • Obtained a preliminary injunction based on a claim of patent infringement brought against one of the leading manufacturers of sporting goods equipment. 
  • Defended Oracle USA in a complex computer software copyright infringement action in the Northern District of Alabama.
  • Represented TOUSA, Inc. in litigation in New York and Florida concerning completion and carve-out guaranties provided in connection with a $675 million structured financing.
  • Lender Liability & Other Banking Financial Institution Litigation
  • Class Action Litigation
  • Domestic U.S. Arbitration
  • Employment Litigation & Counseling
  • Entertainment & Media Litigation
  • Internet Litigation
  • Real Estate Litigation
  • Copyright Litigation
  • Trade Secret Litigation
  • Trademark, Trade Dress, Unfair Competition/False Advertising, and Publicity Rights Litigation
  • Construction Litigation
  • Sexual Harassment & Employment Discrimination
  • International Arbitration
  • The State Bar of California
  • United States Court of Appeals:
    • Ninth Circuit
  • United States District Court:
    • Northern District of California
    • Eastern District of California
    • Central District of California
    • Northern District of Texas (Admitted pro hac vice in all non-California actions)
  • Gradstein, Luskin & Van Dalsem:
    • Shareholder/Partner, 1988-2005 (Shareholder since 1991)
  • Greenberg & Associates:
    • Associate, 1987
  • Los Angeles County Superior Court:
    • Former Arbitrator
  • Listed as one of The Best Lawyers in America (2013-2021)
  • Ranked by Managing Intellectual Property as an “IP Star” in both the U.S. and CA (2014-2018)
  • Ranked as a “Recommended Lawyer” by Legal500 for Trade Secrets: Litigation and Non-Contentious Matters (2017)
  • Named by Best Lawyers as “Lawyer of the Year” for Copyright Law in Los Angeles (2014)
  • Best Lawyers, Copyright Law 2013
  • Named to Law Dragon 500 list (2011)
  • Selected to Super Lawyers listing for Business Litigation, Intellectual Property Litigation, Employment Litigation (2007, 2009)